DRESSING FOR YOUR DOSHA

If eating for your body-type is about creating a sense of balance, dressing for your dosha means fashion can be healing too. By Mairi Yunits. Images: Mara Hoffman SS15 collection.

In my past, non-Ayurvedic life, shopping was my weekly meditation. It wasn’t a real weekend without a new outfit – and it certainly wasn’t an outfit if it didn’t include heels and a very tiny black dress.

Hats, bags, skirts, and tops were constantly accumulating in my drawers, and looking back, I can see how the clothes piling up on the outside were the material reflection of what was happening on the inside – layers of bad relationships, poor health choices, un-authentic friendships and lack of self-love, yearning to be organized.

A few twists and turns down the road, I found myself studying to become an Ayurveda Practitioner – which in turn has meant de-cluttering my internal and external wardrobe. Four years later, it’s clear that healing myself on the inside has in turn even-keeled my closet.

Once I had discovered my dosha (in Ayurveda we all fall into three different types physically – you can find yours out here) I began to recognize I was dressing very wrong for my Pitta-Vata constitution. So I took this on as another gateway to my healing process, and ran to the nearest store to purchase all organic cotton blue and green shirts. But also, I’m a Leo (with Leo rising too!) – and running around in T-shirts was never going to cut it.

As time progressed and I began to refine my new sense of style, the idea of dressing for my dosha began to evolve into an art form.

So what is the benefit of dressing for your dosha, and what changes will you notice?

Ayurveda is all about balance, and just as eating the right foods for your physical make-up is about creating the conditions for optimal health, knowing what clothes work best for your dosha can connect the three tiers – mind, body, and spirit.

Seen this way, dressing (and shopping!) becomes an act of self-care, bringing more clarity, flow of communication, and confidence, be it at your next business meeting or simply a Saturday at the farmer’s market.

It’s grounding. While our mystical selves love to float in the ethers (hey all you vatas out there) clothes can help ground us back to our day-to-day life. We each have a message to share, and the proper clothes can give us the stability we need to rock it.

Here’s how to make a dosha dropping fashion statement.

:: VATA (FALL & EARLY WINTER) ::

My airy social butterflies. First things first (because we all know these things slip the mind); you must avoid being chilly at all costs. I know you love to show off your creative side and make a statement, and a scarf could be just the eccentric addition you’re looking for. Favor outfits that are warming and grounding. Pastel colors can work wonders, and a cozy pair of socks will seal the deal. Soft, warming fabrics such as cottons, linens or merino wool, should be at the top of your shopping list. Stick to flats, as you’re the ones that benefit from the most grounding influences. When you can, go barefoot.

:: PITTA (SUMMER) ::

My luxurious fire elementals. Please don’t let your desire to impress others guide all your outfit choices. The key here is to think light and airy with your clothes. Pittas can easily feel restricted, so make sure there is room to breathe. Silks, linens or cotton fabrics are great. As for colors, keep it calm – white, green and blue will do. Limit pattern. In the summer, carry a hat and sunglasses on you at all times. While black can be a short-cut to the kind of show-stopping looks you love, be careful not to overdue it in the summer months. A Pitta can’t afford to overheat, what with world domination on their hands.

:: KAPHA (LATE WINTER & SPRING) ::

My dear conservative Kaphas. You, my wise friends, tend to go for comfort over fashion. You take the timeless approach and tend to invest in clothes that will last and be practical. While this is a wonderful skill, it can also keep you in a style rut. Next time you find yourself reaching for more practical, neutral colors, spice it up with some purple, red or orange. These colors will give you some extra spunk to get you moving. Partner with light fabrics and throw in a high quality watch to complete the look. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone when it comes to fashion, it may be the motivation you need.

If you know you embody multiple doshas, focus on your main dosha first and bring in the sub-doshas when you feel they need extra TLC. You can also adjust your attire to the doshic season.

The famous saying in Ayurveda, “it all depends,” applies to getting dressed just as much as your diet or daily routine. So start small, and pay attention to how your clothes are affecting your mood, whether you’re out and about or hanging around the house. As your closet cleans up, you’ll begin to see the magic of dressing for your dosha – and understand more fully that healing does in fact come in all shapes and sizes.

Mairi Yunits is a Pitta-Vata, Green Media Specialist, and Ayurveda Practitioner living in Chicago. Find out more about her work at Livemukta.com

FASHION DESIGNER TAROT: THE CARDS ON THE CATWALK

Woah, Fashion Week fun alert! Welcome to Fashion Designer Tarot, in which Vix (a.k.a. the New Age Hipster) imagines a card for six of our favourite catwalk characters…

:: MARC JACOBS – SIX OF CUPS ::

Marc Jacobs embodies the Six of Cups like nobody’s business, which is interesting really because I always see this as the giving and receiving card, small business in a small town card. Marc is very clearly NOT small business these days, and in fact, being born in NYC it’s possible he hasn’t spent much time in small towns at all. But still he embodies an industrious work ethic, and having checked out his latest offerings with my third eye, the romantic notion of small town America he often returns to can be seen in full effect. His signature cartoonish motifs, military stylings and perfume bottles adorned with daisies just scream: “get me out of the big city and back to the back of beyond!” I’m pretty sure in his next life, MJ is coming back as a farmer.

 

:: VIVIENNE WESTWOOD – THE TOWER ::

Vivienne Westwood was the original 1970’s punk, and there’s no card in the Tarot more punk than The Tower! The Tower comes up in readings when everything you’ve built, everything you believe, and everything you trust no longer serves you, and needs to change – now! Just as the punks wanted to break the chains and see the tower of fascism fall, mixing fashion and politics is as natural to Vivienne as pairing tea with cake. Appearing as herself in risque advertising shoots and using every opportunity in front of a camera to push her stance on climate change, Viv continues to shake up and shock the tower of the fashion world well into her seventies.

 

:: STELLA MCCARTNEY – ACE OF CUPS ::

Stella McCartney’s classically feminine vibe can only really relate to the suit of cups. The cups cards help us to dive deep into our emotions, discovering all the gems that lie beneath, and helping us to harness our water energy rather than wind up an emotional wreck. Stella has most definitely got a hold of her own cups, making the Ace of Cups the perfect card for her. Her collection for SS15 is overflowing with gorgeous deep ocean blues, shimmering sunlight on sea metallics and beautiful flowing dresses the colour of breaking waves. And Stella appears to be balancing out her water energy with air this season too. Birds bask on the backs of deep blue cardigans, perfect for keeping you warm by the lake on a chilly evening out beneath the stars.

 

:: KARL LAGERFELD – THE HIEROPHANT :: 

Le Lagerfeld is basically the self-appointed Pope of the Church of Fashion. In Tarot we can relate these kinds of characters to The Hierophant card – supposedly the landline between you and your God, and Karl has the God of style on speed dial! The Hierophant is never ‘wrong’ about anything. He never admits to his mistakes, because he doesn’t make any! Pastor Karl has been involved in numerous controversies; calling Adele ‘fat’, saying he didn’t like Pippa Middleton’s face, oh, and don’t even get me started on his opinions about the use of animals on the catwalk. But he thinks all these things are totes fine, and unfortunately so do many of his black leather clad congregation.

 

:: DONATELLA VERSACE – THE CHARIOT ::


With the gold Medusa as her emblem, Donatella Versace is soooo the Chariot card. But the Chariot isn’t only about fancy Greek footwear and Swarovski bling. This card reminds us that in order to get moving in our lives we have to balance both light and dark. We need to give and receive – allow our sphinx to pull, but steer them where we want to go, right? Donatella takes 2000-year-old Grecian drapery and makes it relevant. She adds golden talismans to ward off evil spirits as you stroll around the mall, and reminds us that every new season in the fashion world is just another pause in the cycle. Nothing is new, and yet everything is new. And this is what keeps the wheels of Versace’s Chariot moving forward.

 

:: ALEXANDER WANG – THE MOON :: 

Mystery, intuition,  stillness, the quiet power within. These are all aspects of The Moon, the Tarot card that depicts Alexander Wang to a tea. A white leaf tea with no sugar, no milk and no sweetener. Wang’s stark, monochrome designs embody the power and beauty of a full Moon on a cloudless night. Of course, there are also brief flares of colour – perhaps blue for a passing comet, or a dash of metallic silver for a falling star. If you’re looking for the perfect wardrobe this season to help you dress like the Moon cycles, then Alexander has you covered.